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Hum Reprod Update. 2002 Mar-Apr;8(2):117-28.

Perinatal outcome and developmental studies on children born after IVF.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Antoine Béclère Hospital, Clamart, France.


Since the first birth after IVF, many scientific papers have been published on the technical aspects of the IVF procedure, but few studies have addressed the issue of the perinatal outcome of IVF pregnancies and of the children's development and well-being. A high rate of adverse outcome has been demonstrated in a large group of IVF pregnancies. Prematurity, low birth weight and perinatal mortality are higher than in the general population. The majority of these complications are related to multiple births, but they are also found in singleton pregnancies. An analysis of the multiple risk factors involved in these complications is needed. The infertile status of IVF patients clearly plays a role in the risk of adverse outcome. Age and parity may be important factors. The role of IVF itself has not been demonstrated convincingly. The effect of ovarian stimulation deserves further study. Most of the studies published on the follow-up of IVF children are reassuring, but it is clear that these studies are not sufficient to eliminate without doubt any adverse effects on the well-being of IVF children. All IVF pregnancies should be followed with great care, not because they are more precious than spontaneous pregnancies, but because they are exposed to an increased risk of complications. The main problem of IVF remains the high rate of multiple pregnancies, including twins.

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